15 years ago today, Americans all across the world woke up and began their days just like every other day. By mid-morning, however, our world would never be the same.
I was in 6th grade watching the news with fellow classmates. Tensions were running really high and I could tell Administration didn’t know how the attacks would impact the rest of our school day. I remember observing my teacher. She had the bluest eyes and I can still see the tears coming out of them. It’s funny what sticks in your mind during something like this.
I’ll never forget the sinking feeling as I watched the towers collapse. My stomach dropped and I felt light headed. My young mind had a hard time understanding what was really going on and what this meant for our nation. I could comprehend, however, the delicate nature of our lives and how every moment we’re given is not to be taken for granted.
I’ve been very sensitive to how precious life is and the thin line that separates life and death since as far back as I can remember. I’m not sure if I was born with this innate intuition about life or if it grew along the way, probably both. It’s something that continuously deepens the gratitude I have for my own life and the lives of those who I care about.
Seriously, it is pretty much always on my mind that in the blink of an eye, anything could happen that could jeopardize my status quo - for the better or for the worse. It reminds me to always let people know I’m thinking about them, be quick to apologize and be slow to get angry. It also reminds me to always thank people for the gifts that they have given me… Truly, sometimes, I’m afraid I may never get another chance to say these things (which someday will be true) but the fear in that alone is usually my motivation.
I wonder how many of you know this about me. I only sort of knew it about myself until a few months ago. This part of me is why I couldn’t sit in the same desk for the next 40 years at the same company doing the same work. This is the part of me that chooses quality over quantity with who I spend my time with. It’s also the part of me that is motivated to be independent and have a successful business because my time is one of my most valuable assets and I want freedom in my life, not restraint.
In reflecting upon the events that occurred in our nation 15 years ago, I’m reminded to love harder, laugh more and soak up all that life has to give because at any time anything could happen. If you’re wondering if you should reach out to that person you haven’t talked to in years, you should. If you’re wondering if it’s worth it to try and mend a relationship with a family member or friend, you should. If you’re wondering if risks in life are worth taking, they are.
Don’t blink and let life pass you by. Keep your eyes wide open and soak in the gift of life you have been given!
If this post wasn't enough of a reminder, maybe you'll listen to Kenny Chesney.